When you have your guide and or Town Trail from the Tourist Information have a good walk round and look at the buildings, there are some really lovely ones, not to mention the River Windrush which is an artists dream!
The Model Village is quite famous and certainly worth a visit if you have the time, It only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to walk round and if you do it first you get a good idea of where everything is in the village.
a one-ninth scale replica created by a landlord of the Old New Inn and it took five years to build out of local stone,
It was officially opened on the Coronation Day of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937.
Its situated behind the Old New Inn and costs £3.60 for Adults
Children aged 3 to 13 £2.80
Over 60's £3.20
Under 3's Free
open every day of the year (except for Christmas Day)
Summer 10am to 6pm (Last admission 5.45pm)
Winter 10am to 4pm (Last admission 3.45pm)
Although there has probably been a Church of some sort on this site since at least 709AD the first stone church was built in 1110AD but the oldest part of the Building you can see today is the chancel which was built in 1328 it was at that time the Church was dedicated to St Lawrence a 4th c Christian Martyr.
I found the roof of the nave to be quite impressive (said to be one of Gloucestershire's finest examples of a King post roof) and the painting on the Chancel ceiling.
The Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection is housed in a converted Watermill in the heart of the village, it has has seven galleries that are packed ( and it really is packed) with lots motoring memorabilia from the past 90 years including over 50 lovingly restored vehicles as well as motorbikes and some old caravans!.You may recognise it from the television as it is home to TV’s superhero-car “Brum”
The Cotswold Motoring Museum is open 10am – 6pm, seven days a week from 9th February to 27th October
Children 4–16 years £3.40, Under 4s Free
Family 2 adults & 2 children £14.95
CSMA Club members save 10% on entrance fees
Lunch time came, and a decision had to be made where to eat!
For people who bring their own lunch, there was plenty of nice lawn beside the Windrush River, and people were picnicing.
For us, we had to find somewhere to buy, really this wasn't hard, as there was a great choice of Restaurant's and Cafe's.
We found a lovely Restaurant, with red & white checkered curtain's, overlooking the River.
We asked for a window seat, they were vacant, but for some reason, we weren't allowed. Never mind, to the rear we were seated.
Just a warning, in a very busy Village like this, the staff are run off their feet at lunch-time, so if you are in a rush, choose another village.
We enjoyed our meal and were able to use the Toilet's in the Restaurant.
Time for more walking!
Like old style arched bridge's, I do!
Then you will like the picturesque centre of the Village, for here the River Windrush flow's through the Village.
There are many gorgeous pedestrian Bridge's, so I will start with the Bourton Bridge built in 1806 and widened in 1959.
An inscription on the downstream side reads "
The Fosseway has passed here since Roman times. Here is Buruhford of Salmonsbury. 8th century AD"
Next, is the oldest stone Bridge, Mill bridge, [also known as Broad Bridge], built in 1654 and crossing where one of the fords existed.
Then, downstream further, is High Bridge, built in 1756.
Downstream again, the last and most recently erected footbridge opposite the Old New Inn is Coronation Bridge, built in 1953 to replace a wooden bridge that had been on this site since the 18th century but had collapsed whilst being crossed by some unsuspecting day visitor!
Further downstream is a vehicle Bridge, built in 1911 by local benefactor who also built the Victoria Hall and local Cottage Hospital.
Alongside it is Payne Bridge, a foot crossing built in 1756.
So you can see, there are many Bridge's in this small Village!
Birdland is a bird park in a beautiful setting on a former trout farm.
The big draws are the penguins (the only group of King Penguins in England and Wales) and the parrots, but there are lots of other birds, including owls, hornbills, curassows, pheasants, rheas, three different kinds of flamingo and pelicans.
There are also reptiles and creepy crawlies in the 'Discovery Zone', which also includes some house mice in an unnerving setting based on a kitchen cupboard.
Penguin feeding is at 2.30 p.m. daily, and there are 'bird of prey encounters' and 'meet the keeper' where you can get closer to the birds and ask the keepers questions.
There is also a 2.5 acre nature reserve, comprising marshland, ponds, meadow, copse and views over the river Windrush, with hids and bird feeding stations.
The Penguin Cafe serves snacks and light meals. (There are lots of other places a few minutes' walk away in the village proper, and your ticket receipt will allow re-entry).
Open all year except Christmas Day. April-Oct 10-6 and Nov-March 10-4. Tickets cost £7.25 for adults.
The museum is in an old water mill near the River Windrush and features many old vintage cars and a large collection of enamel signs. There is also motoring memorablia , motorbikes and bicycles. The BBC TV chracter BRUM can also be seen here as well as a new exhibition of toys and pedal cars.
This is a rather nice, and very ancient, little church, and well worth seeking out.
Despite appearances, Bourton is a truly ancient settlement. The first church here (a wooden one) was built in 709AD but the present church dates back to the 1100s, although subsequent centuries have inevitably brought many changes.
Under the present church is a 12th century crypt but the oldest visible part is the chancel, built in 1328.
In the late 1700s the original church was largely replaced with what exists today, including the domed bell-tower. The bells chime every 15 minutes, and there is a carillon which plays every 3 hours.
The painted roof is a new addition, dating only from the 20th century.
St Lawrence, by the way, is a 4th century British martyr.
There is no dount whatsoever that Bourton is a very pretty place. Its centre holds the oldest buildings, inevitably, but it is clear that even its more modern outskirts are cared for.
Not really surprising, because the cost of property here is now very high. All the Cotswolds villages are sought-after places for retirement, and for country properties for the wealthy, and Bourton is no exception. It is very hard for young locals to find anywhere to live or work (there are far fewer jobs available in agriculture these days)...so, inevitably, many must move away.
But walk the narrow streets of the village centre. Don't think of the sadder aspects and just enjoy the architecture. Think yourself back to a time when the streets were mostly not surfaced but were just tracks, some with cobbles, and a time when the few shops which existed only sold things for everyday life: bread, vegetables, meat, tools, medicines......
Imagine yourself back in time when Bourton was a village whose wealth was based on farming (mostly on sheep-farming).......when wool carried a high value.....when daily life was run by tightly-maintained rules of behaviour.......
If you walk down Sherbourne Street there is a tourist sign on the right of the street ( approximately 200 yards down the street) showing the start of the Windrush walk. There is a small gate and then its out from behind the village and in to open country.
Maps available from the tourist office.
The gate from the street is very small and pushchairs or wheelchairs would not fit through.
The toy shop in the main street has a model railway exhibition at the back of the shop - entrance is £2.50 and there are three lay outs to see. Whoever built them obviously likes Germany because all three lay outs are of a German design - German scenery and buildings and two of the lay outs have of mix of British and German trains which looks very strange.
The purists will probably hate it but the displays are full of interest and very scenic.
The Cotswold Perfumery hold 45 minute tours several times a day for a fee of £5 per adult/£3.50 children 4-16. Here they take you through the gardens to see the various plants as well as guiding you through the perfume making process and showing you the various rooms such as the laboratory, compounding room and factory. There is also a gift shop where you can buy the perfumes and jewellery too, along with other gifts.
And so it came to pass that when I returned and picked up Rosemarie for breakfast we were walking down the street towards the cafe when we chanced upon this scene. By the time I had contained myself after reading his T-shirt I just felt so strongly that this was an opportunity passing me by so I went back and asked if he wouldn't mind if I took his photo.
I still smile every time I see it. (Trust me, blow it up and see why)
The miniature train exhibit is particularly good for kids as it has lots of buttons to push. All three kids had a good time with that. The buttons start and stop various parts of the train set-up. They don't allow photos to be taken, but they have tiny ones on their website.
The Bourton Model Railway has over 500 sq. ft. of model railway and is one of the largest of its kind in the UK with over 40 British and Continental trains run on three main displays of OO/HO and N gauge.
JUNE - SEPTEMBER
Exhibition Open - Daily including Sundays 11.00am - 5.00pm
Shop Open - Daily 9.30am - 5.30pm Sundays 11.00am - 5.30pm
SEPTEMBER - MAY (Excluding January)
SHOP CLOSED ALL DAY WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY
Exhibition Open - Weekends Only 11.00am - 5.00pm
Shop Open - Mon, Tues, Fri & Sat 9.30am - 5.00pm
Sun 11.00am - 5.00pm
Exhibition Holiday Opening
February 11th - 19th (inclusive)
April 1st - 18th (inclusive)
May 26th - May 31st (inclusive)
Last admission to exhibition 30 mins before closing
ADULT - £2.25, CHILD - £1.75, OAP - £1.75
FAMILY - £7.00 (2 Adults + 2 Children)
The men also went to a small motor museum (The Cotswold Motor Museum and Village Life Exhibition) which has over 30 classic cars and motor cycles.